[QODLink]
Europe

US' Kerry calls for banishing sexual violence

Four-day conference of 123 countries in UK concludes with a series of proposals to end rape in conflict zones.

Last updated: 13 Jun 2014 18:13
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The event was co-hosted by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague [EPA]

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said it was time to banish sexual violence "to the dark ages" as an international conference on rape in conflict zones wrapped up in London.

The four-day gathering of 123 countries that concluded on Friday and was co-hosted by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, has produced a series of proposals to end rape in conflict and to better document attacks to try to increase the number of successful prosecutions.

"It's time to ban sexual violence to the dark ages and history books where it belongs," Kerry said at the closing press conference alongside Jolie and Hague.

"Make no mistake: we can end this, establish new norms, hold those who commit those acts accountable and no longer tolerate these horrific tactics."

We have all come together based on a common desire to end warzone sexual violence, and we have mapped out every area of action we need to take.

Angelina Jolie, actress and UN envoy

Emotional experience

Jolie said she was encouraged by the conference, especially by the fact that "so many male leaders from across the world were prepared to confront the taboos surrounding sexual violence in conflict".

The issue was now "on the top table of international diplomacy", she said.

In her closing speech, the actress said: "For me, and I suspect for many of you, this summit has been an emotional experience.

"We have all come together based on a common desire to end warzone sexual violence, and we have mapped out every area of action we need to take."

Hague said the summit had given him "renewed optimism".

Having previously praised Jolie's role, and saying her star power married to government action was a powerful new way of making policy, the British minister said the meeting had been unprecedented.

"Never in my time as foreign secretary so far, on any foreign policy issue, have I seen such an extraordinary and inspiring gathering as we have had over the last few days," he said.

356

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.